Who will be the next Rajasthan chief minister if Ashok Gehlot is elected as the Congress chief next month in presidential elections? The question – which was presumed to be the focus of a Congress legislature party meet on Sunday evening – seems to have triggered a fresh spell of infighting for the ruling party in the state. More than 80 MLAs – all said to be loyalists of Ashok Gehlot – are reported to have submitted their resignations on Sunday night to Assembly Speaker CP Joshi.
Here are top 10 developments on Rajasthan political crisis:
1. A high voltage drama ensued even as the CLP meeting was scheduled to be held at around 7 pm at Ashok Gehlot’s residence which Sachin Pilot, who was seen as his likely successor, was also expected to attend.
2. But the legislators – loyalists of Gehlots – said their opinions were not being heard. More than 80 MLAs – threatening to quit – were reported to have boarded a bus to the Speaker’s residence on Sunday evening. They left his house at about 12 am.
3. A four-member delegation – on behalf of these legislators – conveyed to senior Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge that the crucial CLP meeting should happen after October 19, once the Congress presidential elections are over, people familiar with the matter said.
4. Another demand that was reportedly raised was that Rajasthan’s next CM should be elected from 102 legislators who remained loyal during the 2020 crisis – an apparent reference to Sachin Pilot’s revolt against Gehlot.
5. Ashok Gehlot should be kept in loop in the decision to select his successor, it is also being demanded.
6. The fresh revolt is a reminder of the 2020 crisis the party had faced when Pilot went camping in Haryana. He later returned after reportedly getting assurances from the Gandhis.
7. The opposition is already taking a swipe at the grand old party, which is holding a countrywide programme- the Bharat Jodo Yatra – to strengthen grassroot level connect. Union minister Bhupender Yadav posted a photo of Rahul Gandhi with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin pilot and wrote in the caption “please unite them first”.
8. The current crisis comes amid concerns of the next state elections for Rajasthan, due for next year.
9. “Every MLA has faith in interim president Sonia Gandhi. We’ve kept our point and expect that our demands will be considered when the final decision is taken by the high command. We want the party to take care of people who’ve been loyal to Congress,” Rajasthan minister Mahesh Joshi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
10. Ajay Maken and senior Congress observers are likely to remain in the state. “We aren’t going to Delhi at the moment, we have been instructed by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to conduct one-to-one talks with Rajasthan Congress MLAs. We’ll meet them tonight.” Congress leader Ajay Maken told ANI amid high drama.
(With inputs from ANI)